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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boycott of Riverdale Review Takes Off



The day of reckoning has finally come for the Riverdale Review. For those of you who do not know the Review, it is a free weekly rag put out by Andy Wolf (yup, that's his beautiful mug to the left), who also runs the Bronx Press Review. Over the years, the big, bad Wolf has set a new standard in yellow journalism by personally attacking anyone who disagrees with him. I am proud to say that I am one of his favorite targets -- which means I must be doing something right. After 15 years of trashing schools, community leaders and politicians, a large and diverse contingent of people in and around the Riverdale area have decided that enough is enough. They formed a new organization called "Recycle the Review" that is leading a boycott of the paper. This article from the Riverdale Press (not to be confused with the Review) sets forth the tremendous success this group has had in just one week. Their facebook page provides details about the boycott and includes some of Wolf's finest work. There is an online petition you can sign here. I support their efforts, and ask everyone to pass it along to your friends and lets score a victory for responsible journalism (not to be confused with blogging, which allows the public to spout our personal opinions!).

74 comments:

  1. Well it's about time!

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  2. As a recent editorial in The Riverdale Press said, just becuase he has the right doesn't make it right.

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  3. Thank goodness that folks are finally standing up to that narcissistic bullying blowhard. Andy Wolf needs to change his nasty ways.

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  4. Andy Wolf’s free tabloid is basically a series of prejudiced opinion pieces masquerading as news stories. He deliberately distorts anything that does not fit into his warped world view. By his words and deeds he has shown that he is not a professional journalist at all. Instead, he is just a mean-spirited pamphleteer.

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  5. Most Riverdalians know that the Review has no credibility at all. The problem is the way that paper has been hurting our neighborood for so many years. It is upsetting but hardly surprising that the local elected officials have not lifted a finger so far to condemn Mr. Wolf's toxic brand of yellow journalism. What a collection of uprincipled sissies they are!

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  6. Andy Wolf has been barraged with criticism for years because of his absurd and untruthful rants that smear the names of local citizens and institutions.

    I'm glad that people are finally joining together to say that this is our community and that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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  7. Wolf publishes alarmist and misleading articles to poison the repuation of Riverdale's schools.

    The residents of Riverdale, especially the parents of school kids, are totally within their legal and moral rights to try to make Wolf stop his malicious and destructive attacks on the fabric of the community.

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  8. You lost to an awful incumbent 2-1 and are totally propped up by Bloomberg. Oliver called the voters stupid and still crushed you. All of your candidates lost this past election, and you have a political club that's never even gotten a county committee member elected.

    What, exactly, are you doing right?

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  9. Dr Bob in the BronxNovember 18, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    Bronx Science (Andy Wolf's alma mater) used to be filled with Riverdale kids. Now the kids are from Queens. Andy fights for quality schools where principals have gravitas from experience, not from Bloomberg's "Leadership" Academy that teaches nothing but intimidation. Andy is pro-Riverdale to a fault. Do I always agree with him? No. But I know his heart and his head are in the right place.

    I taught at RKA in its first days and it was marginal then. It is a disaster now. The best lab tech on this Earth just quit/retired at RKA because of the conditions. Good teachers have transferred out. Without Andy's intervention it sure as heck isn't going to get better.

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  10. Bravo! This is the first organized and meaningful effort to confront a man who has become a cancer on the Riverdale and Kingsbridge communities.

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  11. Andrew Wolf likes to pretend that he's the guardian of Riverdale. In my opinion, he's done far more harm than good. He's bad news in every way.

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  12. I just attended the presentation tonight by some of the boycott's organizers. My wife and I are fully supportive of this long-overdue effort. It's time for us to make a positive local change. The Riverdale Review cannot keep trashing this community with impunity.

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  13. Andrew Wolf is a racist fear-monger who tries to intimidate those he disagrees with by defaming their character. He never sticks to facts. He interviews himself and prints "stories" from "unnamed sources". Of course, they all are his own warped opinions. He thinks he is St. George slaying dragons, but he is more like Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist. His "stories" are filled with innuendos and outright lies. He thinks by printing the lies over and over again they will become truths. That only happens in his twisted mind. BTW what educational credentials does he have that make him an expert on schools? Riverdalians should be ashamed they have supported this piece of trash for so long.

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  14. Andrew Wolf is nothing more than a mugger with a pen. He tries to steal the good name of anyone he doesn't like, and uses the Review rag to do it.

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  15. I almost threw a dart at my computer screen. Please take down the photo!

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  16. Do certain local politicans have a secret connection and vested interest in the Riverdale Review?

    On Jan. 16, 2003, Richard L. Stein, co-publisher of The Riverdale Press, wrote an open letter titled "Who's Selling The News?" The letter asks Mr. Wolf to tell his readers about the secret deals that influence what the Riverdale Review prints.

    The letter challenges Mr. Wolf to disclose the hidden roles that CONGRESSMAN ELIOT ENGEL and COUNCILMAN G. OLIVER KOPPELL played in helping to finance Mr. Wolf’s purchase of the Riverdale Review.

    It is now almost eight years later, but Mr. Wolf has still not responded to that challenge, nor has he revealed the identities of the politically connected people who loaned him the money.

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  17. The Riverdale Review is a work of fiction, and bad fiction at that.

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  18. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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  19. Mr. Cassino: Thanks so very much for helping to bring attention to the campaign against that dirty rag.

    It is time for Andrew Wolf to be openly discredited. His stories are brutal and crude in their disregard of the truth ... so he fully deserves to be boycotted.

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  20. While Andy has been dead on with a number of local educational issues, he just gone too far. The Review is his personal bully pulpit where he attacks individual credibility and ruins personal reputations. Cross Andy or disagree with his politics and you will be attacked professionally and personally. That's not news journalism.

    There are also eye brow raising issues with how he solicits some advertisers, what stories he chooses to cover based on who advertises and an editorial page whose political positions are influenced by which candidate places ads in the paper.

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  21. I defend Andy Wolf's right to make his outlandish views known. But the fact that he has become a menace to Riverdale is another thing altogether.

    He has caused lasting injury to Riverdale's public schools and the thousands of families that depend on them.

    All of those who are harmed by his vicious lies and irresponsible reporting should join the boycott against him.

    Our public officials should also condemn Andy Wolf for the harm that he does to their constituents.

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  22. As a PS 24 parent, I can say that Wolf has been simply horrible. He's never made a kind gesture to our school. He just keeps attacking us with made-up or misleading stories.

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  23. It's not just PS 24 that has been maligned by Andy Wolf. I'm an SAR grandparent, and I didn't take kindly to it this week when Wolf's editorial implied that the SAR board is corrupt. Some of Riverdale's most upstanding community leaders serve on that board.

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  24. Please will someone post the names (maybe even photos) of the two sleazy Review reporters who "interviewed" 10-year-old children without parents around so they could do a hatchet job on PS 24. What they did may not have been illegal, but it certainly was immoral.

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  25. Mr. Cassino pay no attention to Anon. Nov. 18@5:38 PM who asks what have you done right. You have done more to benefit the community without being elected than many of the political hacks we, sadly, vote in. No one could have beaten the 40-year politico, Koppell. But you had the guts to try. Besides, who wants be a "county committee member".

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  26. I have heard that Andrew Wolf tried to blackmail community institutions by telling them he would not print their public notices unless they took out an ad in his paper. Is Andrew Wolf truly an extortionist?

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  27. It looks like the boycott is off to a very nice start. If you keep it up, he'll have no choice but to relent. But don't stop there, because, as the adage says, a leopard does not change its spots. If you keep at it, stay focused and continue to move agressively, he's toast!

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  28. "he is more like Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist"

    6 million Jews to the gas chambers=story I don't like about PS 24

    You people are out of your minds.

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  29. Organizing a boycott of a community newspaper distributed for free shows a severe lack of understanding of core American freedoms. Did you ever take American History? Or did you go to local schools? If you don't understand the enormous value of the Riverdale Review and the truth they print about the local schools, then you've got your head buried in the sand. The Riverdale Press would never print the truth about PS 24 or RKA like the Review does. These schools stink, and the kids are suffering from it. The cowards who write in the Press don't have the nerve. Mr Wolf and his team at the Review should get a Pulitzer for their courage and community service.

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  30. I love this boycott. It's such a healthy thing for our neighborhood. Go get him!

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  31. I support the boycott.

    Riverdalians are destined to pay a heavy price if they don't put a stop to the creeping small-town McCarthyism of Andy Wolf.

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  32. I am very enthusiastic about this campaign, and especially impressed by how organized and bold it is.

    I abhor the whole tendency of Mr. Wolf and his ilk to engage in the smear technique and the guilt-by-association technique. Mr. Wolf uses both of these techniques to vilify those that don't happen to agree with his deliberately erroneous reports and maliciously offensive editorials.

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  33. It's not just the parents of PS 24, RKA and SAR students who are upset with Wolf's attack reporting. Parents of students at the Ampark Neighborhood School are terribly upset Wolf's abuse of their school.

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  34. Funny thing about politics and RKA...

    My son attended a theatre and performing arts school in the South Bronx. His education was so stellar at PS 95 that I transferred him out of 95 after he completed 6th grade. I tried IN VAIN to get him transferred to RKA and was told we were not "zoned" for RKA, despite the fact that several parents in my neighborhood were able to send their children to RKA (I later learned this was because they used Riverdale addresses).

    He was progressing nicely at the middle school. The staff was great as was the Principal. I developed a strong relationship with the faculty and because of this I was asked to give my "testimony" to the DOE when the middle school was pushing for an expansion to a High School. We were successful and TAPCo became an MS/HS.

    Naturally, because I felt the staff was fantastic, I allowed my son to attend the HS. In the beginning of his freshmen year, a female student began to harass him. I told him to ignore her, that she probably liked him and eventually she would leave him alone. One day, during class, the teacher stepped out of the room. The female student turned around and began hurling insults at my son. When he got up to leave, she grabbed him, kneed him in the nuts, and when he bent down in pain, she STABBED him in the back with a sharpened pencil. The normal females in the class grabbed her and pummeled her - from what I was told. I was summoned to the school and called the police myself.

    The female was transferred OUT of TAPCo and into RKA...the same school that was out of my "zone", the same school that refused to take my son, the same school that is now failing miserably.

    I often wonder if she ever assaulted any children at RKA. I transferred my son to a private Christian Brothers school the month after the incident.

    I thought it was ironic that RKA refused a child who lived less than two miles away, but would take a criminal. Speaks volumes about a certain agenda...

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  35. I couldn’t help but notice how uncharacteristically quiet the local elected officials have been regarding this boycott. If so much as a tree falls in Riverdale you can usually find panderers like Koppell and Dinowtz shamelessly falling over themselves to be quoted in the press.

    So with hundreds of local residents mobilizing to boycott a tabloid they feel is destroying our community’s schools, what do we hear from our politicians?.... Nothing but silence!

    This only lends credence to the charge that these politicians must be in bed with Andy Wolf. Certainly, Wolf has been a key political booster of theirs in every election cycle, and they seem more than happy to embrace his one-sided, often bombastic, praise.

    Maybe the charge leveled by Richard Stein (publisher emeritus of The Riverdale Press) is true. He wrote that the elected officials were Andy Wolf’s secret backers when Wolf purchased the Riverdale Review.

    Either way, the politicians must be in an awkward position, otherwise we surely would have heard from them already.

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  36. This boycott is a chance for anyone who truly cares about truth and civility in Riverdale to be heard. It's time for us to come together to condemn the lies, the half-truths and the character assassinations perpetrated by Andrew Wolf in the Riverdale Review all of these years.

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  37. This afternoon outside the Starbucks on Johnson Ave. at W235th St. I saw that the school mothers were out in force collecting signatures for the boycott petition. They had a table set up and were giving out flyers about the Riverdale Review. They also had a big recycle trash can so each person walking by could dispose of their copy of the Review if they so desired. It looked like they were getting a positive reception from most passersby and that they were getting many signatures.

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  38. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You .... I've been waiting for this for a very long time. Count me in!

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  39. This boycott rates an A for effort and entertainment value, but it is bound to fail.

    Why? Because the Riverdale Review is a free newspaper with an unaudited circulation. An ad in the Review is already nothing more than a leap of faith -- he prints and distributes 15,000 copies of them, and no one can say what happens after that -- and it is priced accordingly.

    To hurt the Review, I'm afraid that the answer isn't to boycott the Review, but to boycott its advertisers. For everyone's convenience, here is a comma-separated list of the businesses and institutions who bought an ad in this week's Review(for the sake of time and space, I've left out numerous classified and small business/professional ads):

    Garden Gourmet, Marilyn's Diamond Collection, Chen Spa, Seaman Car Service, The Kinneret School, Celebrate Party Showcase, Chabad, Elite Cleaning Service, Cithara Hair, Riverdale Laundry, Gotham Driving School, City Funeral Service, Jewish Memorial Chapel, Shalom Jewish Funeral Home, I&C House Cleaning, The Riverdale Y, Riverdale Oral Health, Christ Church Riverdale, Riverdale Dental Care, Therapy with a Twist, Capital One Bank, Skyview Sponsor Apartments, Ponce De Leon Bank, Liebman's, Anita Wolfe Realty, Bronx Jewelry and Antiques, Riverdale Homes, Lee's Nail Salon, David Allen Bath Shop, Pasquale's Rigoletto Restaurant, Goodfellas, Aunt Dolly's Printing, Sherbee Antiques, Bon Secours/Schervier.

    There are some cherished and important neighborhood institutions here, and I agree that it is unfair that they should suffer, but they are the ones whose dollars flow into Wolf's pocket and allow him to publish his paper. You gotta break some eggs to make an omelette, etc.

    Good luck.

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  40. Not sure if the Riverdale Review should be boycotted. Since Wolf isnt making a profit off of selling his paper to the public (profiting off of the ads space is another story) why not avoid the paper and ignore him all together?

    If everything Andy Wolf says is untrue and completely false, why not just ignore him? It seems his paper is no different from a blog, really. He states his opinions. You can agree or disagree. Why bother putting any energy into something that cannot make or break you. Don't read the Review.

    RKA does have serious issues, no? P.S. 24 had some issues too, no? Rather than focusing on the issues once they have been exposed, I believe it would be better to focus on, and put our energy into, solutions. Exposing the problem is the hardest part. People will despise you for telling the truth. Channeling your energy into doing what is best for the greater good is the easiest thing to do once you resolve yourself to do so.

    Just my own opinion.

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  41. The problem with Wolf is that his tabloid does real harm because it looks like he’s presenting real news. Unsuspecting people end up believing him and making decisions based on that. Wolf exploits public fears, launches indiscriminate attacks with reckless accusations, and pillories people and institutions with the flimsiest of evidence. His publication is a cancerous presence in this community.

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  42. Yes! Let's hurt local businesses!

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  43. What’s so bad about Andy Wolf’s style of reporting? Here are a few things that he does all the time:


    1) vilifies good people

    2) twists facts

    3) misleads the public

    4) engages in campaigns to defame local civic bodies, schools and community institutions


    This combination has caused much damage in Riverdale already.

    Wolf seems like a petty obsessive narcissist and bully who is ready to label anyone he disagrees with as some kind of local traitor.

    His record reminds me of some of the tactics used in the 1950s by a certain U.S. senator from Wisconsin. We shouldn’t forget how Senator Joseph R. McCarthy ended up.

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  44. It sort of boggles the mind that the individuals calling for a boycott of a newspaper, at the behest of a local politician, are describing said newspaper using terms such as "Nazi" and "McCarthyite."

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  45. The Review has nothing to contribute to this community other than anger, division and hate.

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  46. Why not "Nazi" and "McCarthyite"? Don't you think they started the same way? It's only when good people don't stand up to them that they succeed. This boycott is being done by those good people-people who care about our community. Hey anon. 11/21@11:57AM, how would you feel after Andrew Wolf prints lies about you week after week? Defames your character, attacks where your children attend school, even attacks your children? Would you sit by quietly and say "free press"? Andrew Wolf does all that and more. Boycott is the answer. If Andrew Wolf wants to be a responsible editor of a local newspaper, and print real news, with a different opinion, his voice is welcome. But the voice of a hate-mongering bully is not welcome. BOYCOTT!

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  47. They started in government. The boycott is the one being controlled by a politician.

    Do the math.

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  48. Its not that he doesn't report on real issues but that his reports are one sided, distort facts and are almost exclusively negative. They reflect poorly on the community.

    He represents himself as an expert on local schools yet he does not attend CEC meetings, he does not attend PA meetings, he does not attend CB meetings. His information is mostly derived from either disgruntled staff at the school or as is the case now, twisting facts and demonizing the current principal, mostly because she doesn't agree with Andy on some basic issues.

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  49. Andy Wolf must be scared shitless by this boycott.

    In this week’s Review, for example, he buried this topic away in an editorial that never even mentions the school parents or the boycott itself.

    Instead, his rambling and incoherent editorial criticizes Tony Cassino and acts like the government has deprived the Riverdale Review of its constitutional rights.

    It’s nice to see Andy Wolf confused and on the defensive for a change.

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  50. That man uses reckless smear tactics that verge on character defamation. Through the Riverdale Review, he has published more than a decade and a half’s worth of angry mischaracterizations and alarmist lies about Riverdale’s schools, teachers and students.

    By hurting the very fabric of this community, Andy Wolf has, in a very real sense, assaulted all Riverdalians, whether they realize it or not. This boycott is long, long overdue.

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  51. I've read Andrew Wolf's "newspaper" many times since I moved to Riverdale in 2003. My early impression was that although he resorts to name-calling and browbeating, it was all just harmless entertainment. However, I now realize that Mr. Wolf is essentially a destructive force. What he has done and is still doing to the neighborhood's schools is inexcusable and reprehensible.

    I have become friends with a lovely couple with two daughters who are pupils at P.S. 24. They are bright girls and they are receiving a top-notch education. Mr. Wolf's false and totally alarmist reporting on their school preys on people's fears and must stop. I am happy to join the boycott.

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  52. The Riverdale Review is just trash talk. The boycotters are the courageous ones in this fight.

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  53. Andy Wolf is no journalist. He specializes in the persecution of innocent persons. He is a nasty bully.

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  54. Most of the comments here are way too gentle. Let's call Andy what he is: a shit-monger!

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  55. How does one mong shit?

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  56. Wow...these boycotters really get around. I just saw them getting signatures and distributing "Recycle the Review" info this morning near the Ampark school on Hillman Avenue.

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  57. KEEP UP THE FIGHT! It's no more business as usual in Riverdale.

    We have the right as the taxpayers who fund the public schools to protect our interests from the likes of that yellow journalist Andy Wolf.

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  58. It was a real hoot to see Wolf’s response to the boycott in his recent editorial. Without ever mentioning the boycott, he tries to distract attention away from it by making a diversionary attack on Tony Cassino. Wolf's editorial entirely misses the point that this is not about the past, present or future standing of some community leader; it’s about defending our schools and ourselves from Wolf’s repeated and reckless assaults.

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  59. In the Riverdale Review, Andrew Wolf pretends to be above reproach while anyone who questions or disagrees with him is branded a devil. His coverage of news is biased, distorted and irresponsible in the extreme. From week to week and year to year, Mr. Wolf’s writing shows utter contempt for the ordinary rules of public and journalistic decency.

    Mr. Wolf is a divisive and dangerous force in our community. I commend you and all the others who are joining the fight against his toxic and ridiculous tabloid.

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  60. For too long, Wolf has spread angry myths about our schools, but now, like a fool, he has overplayed his hand.

    Also, don’t expect the slimy local politicians who were in bed with him to come to his defense. Already silent, the politicians will be like rats deserting a sinking ship.

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  61. ANDREW WOLF IS WRONG ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT:

    In last week's editorial, Mr. Wolf refers to the boycott of the Riverdale Review as "the local anti-first amendment effort to silence our newspaper."

    It is ludicrous for Mr. Wolf to claim that the boycott somehow threatens freedom of the press under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    In fact, the First Amendment, which prohibits the making of any law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press," only concerns GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS.

    The First Amendment says nothing that prohibits private citizens from exercising THEIR freedom of speech and expression through a public boycott of the media.

    Suffice to say, Mr. Wolf is no Clarence Darrow.

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  62. Ahh! So regarding the 1st Amendment (as Anon.@ Nov.23, 5:54 PM notes), Andy Wolf doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

    Once again, Wolf attempts to fool us, this time by changing the subject and trying to wrap himself in the Constitution.

    But what's really going on is that he just doesn't like it when people disagree with him.

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  63. Like the boycott. Tweet the boycott. Digg the boycott.

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  64. So in the wacky world of Andy Wolf, the Riverdale Review is now trying to cast this boycott by school parents as being the work of one free-swinging political hatchet man. What cave is Andy Wolf living in?

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  65. It's fair to say that November 2010 is the month that Andy Wolf and the Riverdale Review finally overstayed their welcome.

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  66. This boycott makes me proud to be a Riverdalian!

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  67. The outraged parents and others in the community are are well within their rights to use a boycott to show their displeasure with the Riverdale Review's objectionable coverage.

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  68. Hah-hah! So it looks like Wolf has nobody defending him on this but a few local cuckoos, creeps and codgers. If that's all he's got, he's doomed!

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  69. update: Here is this week's list of people and places who are literally paying Andy Wolf to write mean stuff.

    As always, this recap does not include personal/business/professional ads; they are too numerous to mention. This week's issue also contained a full-page "Happy Hanukkah" ad with entries from a veritable who's-who of 35 local businesses, including Liebman's, Bank of America, Skyview Wine, IHOP, DJ Drugs, etc.

    Anyway, on to the big guns: Bright Home Energy Solutions (1/4 and 1/2 page ads), Chabad of Riverdale (4 ads total), Shear Bliss, Marilyn's Diamond Collection, Seaman Car Service, Taim Falafel Shack, Elite Complete Cleaning Service, Christ Church Riverdale, "Singles in Sync" (hello!), Cappy's Stationery, City Funeral Service, Shalom Jewish Funeral Home, Jewish Memorial Chapel, I&C House Cleaning Serivces, Riverdale Oral Health, Lee's Nail Salon, Riverdale Dental Care, NickyAnn Rivera Realtor, Capital One Bank, Riverdale Homes, Bronx Jewelry & Antiques, Ponce De Leon Federal Bank, Anita Wolfe Realtor, Therapy with a Twist, David Allen Bath Shop, Bon Secours/Schervier, Argo Residential, Skyview Apartments, Goodfellas Pizza, Riverdale Organizer, Sherbee Antiques, and a big full-page, full-color ad on the back from the Riverdale Y.

    That looks pretty similar to the last issue's list. In happier news, Wolf couldn't sell an ad opposite his editorial page, so he had to run a full-page personal testimonial from highly respected education professor/expert and best-selling author Diane Ravitch in which she praised the Review's coverage of the local schools. uh, moving on . . .

    Look, this boycott ain't gonna work if you're going to be stuffing your face with Liebman's deli as you take a comfortable, well-appointed Seaman's SUV down to Garden Gourmet to do your shopping. A reader boycott of ~100 people doesn't register as a blip on the radar screen of Wolf's business model. But boycotting the advertisers / and telling them WHY you are boycotting? This is the only thing that gives you a possibility of achieving your wildest dreams.

    Reading the Review so you don't have to, and wishing you luck until next time.

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  70. It's so very nice to see local folks FINALLY mobilizing against this heavy-handed, petty demagogue. Andy Wolf is a vulgar and contemptible man, and I'm happy that his influence in this community is coming to an ignominious end.

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  71. When I saw the volunteers gathering signatures on Johnson Ave recently, my first reaction was to ask "What’s that?” The nice ladies explained that it was a petition to boycott the Riverdale Review. Well, you bet I signed that piece of paper – and then went right home to find a copy of the Review to throw into the recyclables. I'm now urging my friends and neighbors to join the boycott as well.

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  72. I just made potato latkes and used the Review to collect the potato peels. It was great for that. I lined the sink with it, peeled the potatoes over it, rolled it into a ball and threw it away. It was perfect. I know many who use it to line their parakeet cage. We should find other uses for the Review instead of simply recycling it. Lets be imaginative!

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